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Beyond Anger: Connecting With Self and Others

NCJ Number
Earnie Larsen
Date Published
87 pages
This kit includes a trainer’s manual, a set of reproducible worksheets, and a videotape for a four-session course for inmates and parolees; the course examines anger and its effect on people’s lives, sources of resentment and anger, strategies for moving beyond them to forgiveness, and techniques for handling the end of relationships.
The course aims to reduce recidivism by teaching transitional life skills that enable offenders to reintegrate into society successfully. The course focuses on anger, healing, forgiveness, and reconciliation. It rests on the premise that everyone can change, although achieving change is not always easy. The trainer’s manual suggests two alternative 1-hour formats for each session. Each class session includes an introduction, group members’ introductions of themselves, viewing of the videotape, and a discussion to process what participants learned from the videotape. One format includes completion of the worksheets with guidance from the facilitator. The worksheets use a self-explanatory format that allows participants to do a self-study if they miss a session or to complete worksheets independently if time for each class session is limited. The videotape has four segments that correspond to the sessions in the course. The first segment explains how anger is learned early in life and describes how cycles of anger develop when a person continues to express anger in unhealthy ways. The second session discusses how it is possible to heal anger, points out each person’s responsibility in the process, and discusses a five-step process for healing anger. The third session emphasizes that recognizing anger will only create resentment unless followed by forgiveness. The final session addresses reconciliation and depicts the struggle of one person trying to reconcile in a deeply wounded relationship. Illustrations and forms